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iOS 5.1: What can we expect?

Tomorrow sees the big reveal of the Apple iPad 3 and (presumably) the latest version of iOS, iOS 5.1.

We’ve already got a good idea of what features might be coming to the new version of the software. We’ve added our two cents plus a few changes which we’d like to see coming to the new platform.

All will be revealed tomorrow; we’re going to be at the official Apple event where all will be revealed. Until then, we’re expecting the following:

iOS 5.1: What we’re expecting to see

1. More languages supported for Siri

Spotted in a leaked image posted by Portugesue blog Blog do iPhone, Siri’s support for the Japanese tongue looks to be included in the new build of iOS.

Currently UK, US and Australian English are supported, as is French and German. Japanese looks to be on the cards but we wonder what else might make the jump too. Italian? Swedish? Portuguese?

2. Siri business searches outside the US

We’re a little less sure about this one owing to the nature of the source. Simon Pierro’s little bit of magic with the iPad 3 however hinted at the possibility of Siri searching for businesses outside of the US.

At around the 1:40 mark in the video below, we hear Siri prompting Simon to check out a bierkeller in Munich. A nod that wider business searches are coming, or just a prompt for the beer pouring stunt in the video?

3. Improved unlock to camera shortcut

If the iPad 3 is coming with a juicy 8-megapixel camera as the rumours suggest, we’re going to want to be able to get to it as quickly as possible. That means improving the lock screen camera shortcut feature which was introduced in the last OS update.

Screengrabs leaked to Blog do iPhone and BGR point to the existing camera unlock tool being replaced with one which you slide up rather than simply tap to unlock. Though we appreciated the feature, we found ourselves occasionally unlocking our iPhones in our pockets, leading to all kinds of impromptu interior-of-pocket shots. This new unlocker looks to require a more definite gesture.

We’d hope that the ability to change the camera shortcut for whatever you wanted – your favourite app, game or the settings – comes along for the ride as well, though we’ve heard nothing to indicate this just yet.

4. New text formatting in Notes, possibly other apps

A spot coming from the Greek fellas at iPhone Hellas is this update to the Notes app; bigger text sizes, bullet points, fonts, colours, they’re all there.

If this feature is coming to iOS 5.1 we’d expect that Apple would’t limit this just to Notes; iMessage, text messages, emails, they could all get an injection of colour with this new text formatting.

iOS 5.1: What we’d like to see

1. Better battery management

However big the battery of the iPad 3 ends up being, we hope that iOS 5.1 brings with it a power management tune up, mainly to stop the batteries of our poor iPhone 4S’s getting hammered constantly.

2. Better sharing options

Sharing pictures and documents could do with a little corner cutting. On Android you’ve got a ubiquitous Share tool virtually everywhere which lets you upload and move pictures, files, and whatever else you want to apps like, Flickr, Evernote and Dropbox.

While you’ve got equivalent apps for these on iOS, sharing pictures for example isn’t as easy. Say you want to upload a picture as soon as you’re done taking it; from the Pictures gallery on iOS you’re restricted to email, sending an MMS, Twitter or sending it to a compatible printer.

Compare this with Android and you’ve got all those options plus any and every other app you’ve downloaded that’s capable of supporting image sharing. You can’t even upload a picture to Facebook directly from the iOS Pictures app.

This also extends to sharing stories from news apps – in iOS you’re limited to email, Facebook and Twitter whereas you’ve more freedom with Android. 

If nothing else on the iOS sharing front gets updated with 5.1 we at least hope that Facebook picture sharing from the gallery gets a look in.

3. Call people from text messages

Another leaf from the Android book we’d like to see in iOS 5.1 would be the ability to call someone straight from a text message.

On virtually any Android phone, when you get a text you’ve got the option of replying or, with two taps of the menu key (or equivalent thereof) you can call someone back. Not in the tungsten grey old world of iOS you can’t.

Sounds pretty small, but it’s all about the small things, right?  


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